Envision Healthcare cuts exec, physician pay as volumes drop amid COVID-19

Envision Healthcare is cutting salaries for its senior leadership by 50% and implementing additional salary cuts and temporary furloughs as it juggles financial woes associated with COVID-19. 

The moves come as the Nashville-based healthcare company and national hospital-based physician group experiences large drops in patient volumes across all practices and specialties with decreases of as much as 70% in areas such as ambulatory surgery and anesthesia services and emergency department visits down as much as 30%.

“In some areas, hospitals and our clinicians are seeing numbers of COVID-19 patients skyrocket. But everywhere else, patients are staying home," said Jim Rechtin, president and CEO of Envision Healthcare in a statement. "This is a hard situation, because, in the places where patients are staying home, doctors have fewer appointments and shifts, and thus reduced revenue. Where they lose their normal billing revenue, medical groups are losing money.  Where medical groups are losing money, they have to reduce salaries and furlough workers. Unfortunately, we are no different.”

Rechtin said the company plans to surge clinicians to areas with the greatest needs such as in New York, providing support to Mount Sinai Health System and three other hospitals in New York, as well as others in the greater New York area. At the same time, they plan to reduce shifts in areas with low patient visits. 

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Envision will also reduce clinical compensation where volumes are down and patients are not seeking care, and performance-based bonuses and clinician profit-sharing will be delayed until the fall, officials said. Meanwhile, retirement contributions, merit increases, and promotions for all employees will be temporarily suspended and noncritical capital expenses have been halted.

"Our attention will be focused on our clinicians so they can provide care for patients who need it, both now and in the future," Rechtin said. "It’s our duty to make sure we are here to serve these patients for the years to come. This crisis will make our team stronger, and we will weather the storm together.”

The health system is working to secure more than 4 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, face shields, gowns and goggles to support Envision’s clinicians and hospital partners in areas of greatest need.  

More than 250 Envision surgery centers are gearing up to provide staff, equipment and PPE to support local hospitals including help providing care for the surge in patients, providing overflow capacity, and facilitating testing for COVID-19. Envision said it is also deploying telehealth platforms.